(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

The Eastern frontier must be settled now, if the new Polish administration
is to be able to carry on its work in its own territory, and to do this in amity
with the Russians and behind their fighting fronts. The Western frontiers,
which will involve a substantial accession of German territory to Poland.,
cannot be fixed except as part of the whole German settlement until after
the Allies have occupied German territory and after a fully representative
Polish Government has been able to make its wishes known. It would be
a great mistake to press Poland to take a larger portion of these lands than
Is considered by her and by her friends and Allies to be within her compass
to man, to develop, and, with the aid of the Allies and the world organisation,
to maintain.
" I have now dealt with the frontiers of Poland. I must say I think It is
a case which I can outline with great confidence to the House. An impartial
line traced long ago by a British commission in which Britain took a leading
part; the moderation with which the Russians have strictly confined them-
selves to that line ; the enormous sacrifices they have made and the sufferings
they have undergone ; the contributions they have made to our present
victory ; the great interest, the vital interest, which Poland has in having
complete agreement with her powerful neighbour in the East—when you
consider all those matters and the way they have been put forward, the tem-
perate, patient manner in which they have been put forward and discussed,
I say that I have rarely seen a case in this House which I could commend
with more confidence to the good sense of Members of all sides.
" But even more important than the frontiers of Poland, within the limits
now disclosed, is the freedom of Poland, The home of the Poles is settled.
Are they to be masters in their own house ? Are they to be free,, as we in
Britain and the United States or France are free ? Is their sovereignty and
their independence to be untrammelled, or are they to become a mere
projection of the Soviet State, forced against their will, by an armed minority,
to adopt a Communist or totalitarian system ? Well, I am putting the case
in all its bluntness. It is a touchstone far more sensitive and vital than the
drawing of frontier lines. Where does Poland stand ? Where do we all
stand on this ?
c< Most solemn declarations have been made by Marshal Stalin and the
Soviet Union that the sovereign independence of Poland is to be maintained,
and this decision is now joined in both by Great Britain and the United
States. Here also, the world organisation will in due course assume a
measure of responsibility. The Poles will have their future in their own
hands, with the single limitation that they must honestly follow, in harmony
with their Allies, a policy friendly to Russia. That is surely reasonable . . .
" The procedure which the three Great Powers have unitedly adopted to
achieve this vital aim is set forth in unmistakable terms in the Crimea
declaration. The agreement provides for consultation- with a view to the
establishment in Poland of a new Polish Provisional Government of National
Unity, with which the three major Powers can all enter into diplomatic
relations, instead of some recognising one Polish Government and the rest
another, a situation which, if it had survived the Yalta Conference, would
have proclaimed to the world disunity and confusion. We had to settle it,
and we settled it there. No binding restrictions have been imposed upon
the scope and method of these consultations. His Majesty's Government
intend to do all in their power to ensure that they shall be as wide as possible
and that representative Poles of all democratic parties are given full freedom
to come and make their views known. Arrangements for this are now being
made in Moscow by the Commission of three, comprising M. Molotov, and
447